Significantly more people are choosing non-traditional funeral services. Culture is evolving in many different ways, but especially in how we deal with death. As people plan their own and their loved one’s funerals and burials, they’re forgoing traditional methods and locations. As a result, many are opting for a new trend – the destination funeral. 

What are Destination Funerals

What Is A Destination Funeral?

A destination funeral is a memorial or a service somewhere non-traditional and often non-religious. It also includes scattering ashes in a special location. According to a report from Co-op Funeralcare, half of their directors have arranged at least one destination funeral. More than a third of people said they wanted their funeral to be somewhere special and personal.

Here Are Some of the Places Destination Funerals Are Being Held

  • Somewhere special in a foreign country
  • At a sports venue
  • In the family home
  • In the workplace
  • By a natural body of water (lake, river, beach, ocean)

What’s Causing the Increase in Destination Funerals?

There are several cultural trends that have helped lead to the rise in popularity of destination funerals

Fewer Americans are Religious

According to the Pew Research Center, from 2007 to 2014 the amount of “religiously unaffiliated” Americans has risen from 16% to 22.8%.  As Americans are becoming more secular, they’re moving away from a religious end of life ceremony. Furthermore, many want services based on their own personalities and hobbies. They are turning down scripted, traditional, and religious events.

Suggested Read: Establishing A Permanent Memorial

Desire for Celebration, Not Mourning and Scripted Functions

With the rise of social media, all life events are becoming bigger, more intentional, and more picturesque. This includes funerals. Americans want celebrations and parties to remember their loved ones, not sad and robotic services. They also want personalization. If grandpa was a lifelong Bengals fan, his family can celebrate his life at Paul Brown Stadium. 

Suggested Read: How To Plan A Funeral Reception That Reflects A Life Of Authenticity And Purpose


A traditional funeral and burial can cost $11,000. For an unexpected death or a lack of funeral planning, this cost is a huge burden. Because of the high costs, many families choose non-traditional methods. Since cremations are so much less expensive, they’re a better alternative for many families. They can then use the scattering of the ashes as a memorial service in place of a funeral

Families Scattered Across the Country and World

Because of economic opportunity, many adults move away from their place of birth or their familial hometowns. It’s not common to have multiple generations living next to each other on the same road. When an important part of a family dies, it can be expensive and difficult for everyone to travel to the loved one’s home. In this situation, it makes sense to have a funeral in a central location for everyone.

How would you feel about planning a funeral somewhere special and non-traditional?


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